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DFL Legislators Livid Over Millionaire Who Took Food Stamps to Expose Loophole

All Minnesota lawmakers should be grateful to Rob Undersander for exposing a loophole in the system that allowed the millionaire to legally take food stamps for a year and a half. But instead of thanking him for revealing the rampant waste of taxpayer funds in an effort to shore up the food stamp program, DFL legislators "shot the messenger." Several attacked Undersander for his experiment exposing the system's shortcomings at a legislative hearing covered by Forum News Service. Millionaire Rob Undersander sat at a Minnesota House witness stand saying he received food stamps for 19 months to prove a point: Not everyone who gets...

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St. Anthony’s Out-of-Town Junket Violates Open Meeting Law

Somewhere along the line the St. Anthony City Council started holding its annual sleep-over planning session in a hotel in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Park. Supposedly there's no place in St. Anthony that qualifies for hosting the strategic gathering to set the city's course for the year. Just one problem. The overnight stay and out-of-city location violates the Minnesota Open Meeting Law designed to make sure citizens can track the actions of elected officials. The Star Tribune reports the Minnesota Department of Administration's ruling could cramp future plans for the junket, which cost taxpayers almost $10,500 this year. But Administration Commissioner...

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Report claims MN IT official knew of vehicle licensing system problems

The dysfunctionality of Minnesota’s $93 million vehicle licensing system has been pegged as no accident. According to an outside investigator hired by the state’s information technology department, Paul Meekin—the chief business technology official who oversaw the system's launch—“knew there were numerous defects prior to its launch last summer but failed to address them,” as reported by MPR News....

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Legislators Demand Tougher Oversight Despite Threat of MNLARS Layoffs

Democrats are desperate to deflect responsibility for the monumental meltdown of the MNLARS vehicle registration system under  the Dayton administration's bungling bureaucracy. Legislative leaders are working on a measure to fund a fix that includes tougher legislative oversight over the purse strings and processes at MNIT, the state agency responsible for what's become the most potent poster child for government incompetence since MNsure. But the notion of increased accountability evidently doesn't sit well with Gov. Dayton. So negotiations over a compromise have gone down to the wire this weekend, according to a recent MPR report. The Minnesota Senate postponed a vote on legislation...

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Lawmakers Target “Monster” Met Council Again

Gov. Dayton vetoed the last attempt by legislators to get the Metropolitan Council in line. But lawmakers are back with a vengeance, picking up where they left off this week in committee hearings covered by Session Daily. As Rep. Tony Albright (R-Prior Lake) put it to a House committee on Monday, the Met Council has become “a monster.” “The point is not to question whether to change the Met Council,” Albright said. “It’s how to change the Met Council.” Albright has revived a tweaked version of legislation he introduced in 2017 that proposes to dramatically reshape the agency, enlarging the body from 17 to 29...

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MN Investment Fund: Government Waste at Its Finest

[caption id="attachment_9571" align="alignleft" width="234"] Click to see audit[/caption] One line from the Legislative Auditor's critical report tells you everything  you need to know about the Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF), a taxpayer-funded program under the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) that's designed to encourage businesses to invest and create jobs. The MIF program’s impacts are unclear because businesses do not have to demonstrate they need the assistance in order to expand. Translation: There's no evidence the state program needs to exist. But that hasn't stopped the spigot of state subsidies from flowing to Minnesota companies, which banked $51 million from the...

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Nobles Rips State Auditor Otto for Treatment of CPAs

[caption id="attachment_9556" align="alignright" width="240"] Lori Leysen and Jim Nobles, Office of Legislative Auditor. Paul Battaglia photo[/caption] Maybe the latest embarrassment to hit State Auditor Rebecca Otto in her feckless quest to force Minnesota counties to use her office's over-priced services will convince her to give it up. After all, Otto has lost repeatedly in the courts and marketplace, where more counties have turned to private accounting firms that often charge less than half as much as the State Auditor. Most recently the embattled Otto took a direct hit in a new legislative auditor's report released this week at a committee hearing covered...

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Minneapolis City Attorney Looks Other Way As Mayor and Council President Break Rule on Rehiring Her 

[caption id="attachment_9523" align="alignleft" width="274"] Susan Segal, Minneapolis City Attorney[/caption] Is new Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey already cutting ethical corners just a month or so into his new job? The curious case involving the reupping of City Attorney Susan Segal can't help but make you wonder. Not only about the ethics of the city's legal eagle who so desperately wants to keep the plumb job she's held down for years but those of the new mayor she so much wants to serve. It may be a small item in the Star Tribune, but the incident raises bigger concerns over the new administration's evident willingness...

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What is America’s biggest national security threat on the horizon?

Is it North Korea, Russia, China, or arguably the national debt?  Hudson Institute senior fellow Arthur Herman says it depends on who wins the race to build the first large-scale quantum computer. He makes his case in a review of David Ignatius’s new thriller, The Quantum Spy, in the February 5 issue of National Review. Hudson says that though quantum computing will put unimaginable scientific miracles within our reach, it will also make cyber-security systems, including vital national secrets, vulnerable to being cracked “in an instant.” Today quantum computers are the stuff not of fiction but of engineering reality, and right now...

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